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Kpelle syllabary   Kpelle

The Kpelle syllabary was invented during the 1930s by Chief Gbili of Sanoyea, Liberia. It was used to some extent by speakers of Kpelle in Liberia and Guinea during the 1930s and early 1940s but never achieved popular acceptance.

Today Kpelle is usually written with a version of the Latin alphabet.

Notable features

Used to write

Kpelle (Kpɛlɛwoo), a member of Mande group of Niger-Congo languages spoken by about 490,000 people in Liberia and around 300,000 people in Guinea.

Kpelle syllabary

The Kpelle font used on this page was created by Jason Glavy

Sample text in Kpelle (Latin alphabet)

Nukan gele kaa pələ kaa tanɔn, yiliɓa nu kəle maawiyə pələ da tɔɔi gaa ɲei yɛnɛyii hu kɛpələ kaalɔ tanɔn; di kɛmɛni a nukan ŋaa ɓə gɛɛ hwəkɛli wɛlikɛmaa ə lɔ di luwai.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Tower of Babel in Kpelle


Information about Kpelle

Mande languages

Bambara, Kpelle, Loma, Mandinka, Mende, Soninke, Susu, Vai


Bamum, Caroline Island Script, Celtiberian, Cherokee, Cypriot, Eskayan, Hiragana, Iberian, Katakana, Kpelle, Loma, Mende, Mwangwego, Ndjuká, Nüshu, Vai, Yi